Getting To Know You! First Day of School Activities

August 27, 2014

Talking to pupilsWith the first of September finding us early next week, it’s about time we say goodbye to summer and hello to our new teachers and classmates. For many students and even some teachers, the first day of school is intimidating – new faces, new schedules, harder material and an unfamiliar environment. If you’ve got a few first day jitters and are feeling nervous about your first day back in the classroom, that’s okay! The good news is that while schools are meant for learning, the first day (or maybe even week) of school can be dedicated to getting to know your class and creating a friendly, welcoming environment for all.

On your first day, we recommend doing some icebreaker activities so you and your students can begin to feel more comfortable about the upcoming year. Thanks to Education World, the following are a few fun icebreakers that you can use to get started:

Classroom Web: Gather your students in a circle and begin by holding a fully wrapped ball of yarn. After telling students a little bit about yourself, hold on to the end of the yarn and roll the ball to someone new. Whoever is in possession of the yarn next should describe themselves to the class and then repeat the process. By the end of the activity your students will know a bit more about each other and you will have created your very own classroom web. To make it a bit more challenging, once each student has had a turn, go around the circle and see if they can name the person who selected them to go next!

Classroom Scavenger Hunt: Prior to the start of school, create a list of characteristics or qualities that students may possess – for example, “I have brown eyes” or, “I have an older sibling.” On the first day, hand out the list to each student and ask them to go around the classroom and find one person who demonstrates each quality from the list. To encourage students to get to know everyone, implement a rule that they may not use the same person twice to fill out their sheet.

Classmate Interview: For this activity, give students a list of pre-determined questions such as “how old are you,” “do you have any pets,” or “how many siblings do you have?” After giving them ample time to fill it out, randomly assign students to peer groups and ask them to go around in a circle and discuss their answers. Once each student has had a chance to speak, switch up the groups so that students are exposed to new classmates. Don’t forget to join in on this activity as well so that you have an opportunity to meet each child too!

What activities do you have planned for your students on the first day of school? Be sure to find us on our Facebook page and let us know!

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